Leverstock Green 1 Hatfield Town 0
DAN Griggs scored the only goal of the game as Leverstock Green started the year with a hard-fought victory at home to Hatfield Town.
In truth, the result could have gone either way, but Griggs’ 71st minute strike proved to be the difference between the sides and gave Levy an ideal start to 2012.
In a cagey opening to the game, Levy’s first chance fell to Ioan Vranceanu who sent his dipping effort narrowly over the bar.
Griggs came close shortly afterwards, but the best change of the half was squandered by Hatfield’s Ashley Dray who fired wildly over the bar when clean through on goal.
Green started the second half positively and could have opened the scoring a minute after the interval.
Junior Owusu-Akonor was sent through on goal by Vranceanu, but Hatfield keeper Sam Lacey did well to thwart the striker with a fine save.
Grant Macaree then headed over from a corner at the other end, before Dray was denied by Green keeper Carl Tasker with 25 minutes remaining.
Two minutes later, Steve Heath introduced Lewis Pritchard from the bench in a bid to win the game, and Levy found themselves in front shortly afterwards.
Owusu-Akonor showed tremendous pace and trickery to beat his man on the right touchline, before rolling the ball to Griggs who fired home to give his side the lead.
Owusu-Akonor had a couple of chances to wrap up the win late on, but he was unable to find the back of the net – ensuring a nervy finish for Green.
Hatfield pressed for a late equaliser, but Levy held on well to secure the victory and ensure a winning start to 2012.
And Green boss Heath felt his side were worthy victors.
“We played some good football and created some good chances,” he said.
“They had a little bit of a go at us in the last five minutes but we were good value for the win.
“There’s no easy games in this league and in the first half we lacked a bit of sharpness and were a bit wasteful with the ball.
“But we were the better team in the second half and had more quality.”
Next up for Heath’s side is a trip to league leaders Royston Town on Saturday.
Levy look set for a hard month as they take on a number of the MSSML Premier Division’s top sides, and Heath said: “From the four league games we’ve got coming up, I’d take six points to be honest.”